LASPOTECH ASUP DECLARES STRIKE ACTION OVER MIGRATION SCHEME

-Management on top of the situation

By Kunle Adelabu with Boluwatife Hassan, Oluwakemi Esheogene Joseph & Ifeoluwa Ajenifuja (SIWES/IT Students)

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The Academic Staff Union of Polytechnics (ASUP), Lagos State Polytechnic Chapter, has vowed to embark on a strike action yesterday following irreconcilable differences with the school management over the Migration Scheme.

Both the academic and non-academic staff of the institution, Academic Staff Union of Polytechnic (ASUP), Senior Staff Association of Nigeria Polytechnics (SSANIP) and Non-Academic Staff Union (NASU) held meetings on, Thursday, August 11, 2016, at different locations to decide on the disagreement with the management over the scheme.

THE IMPACT gathered that at the end of the ASUP special congress, it was unanimously agreed that a strike process should commence.

In a message sent to members of the union at the end of the congress, it was stated that the union would embark on 21 days strike action followed by 21 and then 7 days without shutting the door for dialogue.

“Great congress men and women, we thank you for your belief in us, you have overwhelmingly agreed to keep the flame aglow having decided on an industrial action of 21 days, 14 days, 7 days and subsequently72 hours without shutting the door of dialogue” the ASUP resolution read.

THE IMPACT gathered that the special congresses of unions which were held in the open yesterday resulted from the refusal of the school management to allow members gather at different lecture theatres which are traditionally venues for union congresses.

It was gathered that the efforts of the management at a meeting with the representatives of the unions on Tuesday, August 9 failed to convince the union members.

While ASUP held its congress at Engineering Lecture Theatre, NASU took to the campus playing ground and SSANIP gathered at the Car Park opposite the Polytechnic administration/library complex respectively.

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Comrade Owoyemi, Lagos State Polytechnic, SSANIP Chairman speaking with THE IMPACT reporter yesterday

At the SSANIP meeting, the Chairman of the union, Comrade Abiodun Owoyemi stated that the school management is depriving members of their rights and if not urgently addressed, they would have to commence an indefinite strike action.

In an interview with THE IMPACT after the congress, Comrade Owoyemi said that the special congress was called for members to discuss on the disagreement with the management on migration scheme

“It is a special congress called to deliberate on issues bothering on the migration scheme that we have been negotiating since 2013 and which the management has not implemented. We have called this meeting to inform our members what the management told us at the Tuesday meeting.

He deplored the attitude of the management in preventing the unions from using lecture theatre for their meeting.

“Traditionally, we used to meet at the lecture theatre for our meetings but they prevented us from meeting there which means they do not want us to meet” Comrade Owoyemi alleged.

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Comrade Ayo, SSANIP  Treasurer addressing members at the congress

Disagreement Over Migration Scheme

The impending total strike action IN Lagos State Polytechnic, THE IMPACT we gathered was due to the failure of the management to implement the Migration Scheme as agreed.

THE IMPACT gathered from some senior academic staff that the agreement on the increment across board had been in place for sometime but could not be implemented due to paucity of fund. It was agreed that as soon as the income especially the subvention from the state government improves that the agreement would be implemented.

But the unions alleged that despite the increase in government subvention and the approval of the Polytechnic’s Governing Council, the management refused to implement the migration scheme across board, whereas, the top management officers have been benefitting from the increment and other privileges.

“It was understandable when we were told that the agreement is not implementable due to paucity of fund and we resolved that whenever the income of the school improved the management would start implementing the migration scheme but to our surprise, the state government increased its allocation to the school and the council also approved our payments but the management continue singing the old tune despite the fact that they have been benefiting from same thing they are denying us.

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SSANIP members at the congress yesterday

Another staff who spoke with our reporter stated, “Let us agree that there is paucity of fund, from where is the management drawing theirs from? We have also told them to reverse what they are also paying to themselves and refund what they have benefitted so far so that we can all be on the same page. It is only when they do this that we are going to accept that there is paucity of fund”

The unions are also accusing the management of allocating wardrobe, furniture and other allowances to themselves which are already accommodated in their salary package.

Union’s Allegation Against The Management

The catalogue of allegations against the management were contained in a mail received by THE IMPACT which were, unilaterally approving of migration for CONTISS 12- 15 at N40million per month since 2009; owing CONTISS 11 downward 90 months plus arrears and refusing to implement the migration that only costs N20million per month; and that the school is collecting a total of N210million (used to collect N154 million from government but currently collecting additional N56million), yet they refuse to migrate the downtrodden or pay the accumulated N1.6 billion arrears that the Governing Council has already approved in principle.

Others are that members of the management team were collecting wardrobe, furniture, car, other allowances most of which have already been accommodated in their take home packages; sponsoring letter of purported non-implementation of the migration package signed by Director of Higher Education which was found to be untrue; and allegation that the management team are planning to get consumables, diesel, benches, utility cars, etc with the newly approved monthly N56million while majority of the staff are dying in the face of current economic hardship in Nigeria among others

Demands

Meanwhile, the unions have listed their demands, a copy of which was also sent to THE IMPACT, which are, immediate implementation of migration to CONTISS 11 downward; payment of all the arrears without delay and must not affect promotions.

In a situation where the management is unable to meet the union’s demands, they are on the other hand demanding that there must be de-migration of CONTISS 11-15; that CONTISS 11-15 should refund all they have earned since 2009; and also called for the immediate scrapping of management and executive management committees, which they alleged are alien to the Polytechnic’s laws, retrogressive and wasteful.

Attempts to hear the Polytechnic management side proved abortive as it was gathered that members of the management were involved in crucial meeting to avert the total strike action threatened by the unions. The meeting we gathered lasted several hours yesterday.

Efforts by THE IMPACT’s reporter to reach the Deputy Registrar (Information)/Public Relation Officer of the school also proved abortive. It was gathered that he was also involved in the last minute meeting of the management staff to prevent the strike action and that his office is neck-deep in ensuring that the channels of dialogue between the management and the unions are not closed.

A source within the information office also assured THE IMPACT that the school information officer will in due course get back to us and if needs be address members of the press that have been making enquiries on the trade dispute.

It was gathered from a reliably source the management is doing everything to avert the strike action.

 

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